What Kind of Physician Do You Want to be? Recorded Live!

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Session 206

Today’s episode is a different one as Ryan presents live recordings of the premed students he got to talk with during the two back-to-back conferences this October, namely, the AMSA (American Medical Student Association) PremedFest at the University of South Florida and the UC Davis Pre-Health Conference in California.

Soon, we will be launching the Specialty Stories, a podcast where Ryan talks with different specialists and what they’re doing in a non clinical role to give you an idea of what the future may hold and of what you can do now to set yourself for success in the future.

Hear from these amazing students who attended either of these conferences and see if you can relate with them in terms of the specialties they’re interested in and their thought processes.


Interest: DO

Specialty in mind: Surgery

Background: Nontraditional; going to DO due to grades and his holistic idea; working as a surgical technologist at a spine center

His PremedFest highlights: Physician-Assisted Suicide; The event has helped him shape his views on different things


Specialty in mind: Surgery

Her PremedFest highlights: Taking advantage of whatever you see even if it’s not something you knew existed before


Specialty in mind: Anesthesiology

Ryan’s Tip: Do some research on CRNA and check out the Texture app, a Netflix for magazines, www.medicalschoolhq.net/texture and sign up for a free one-week trial account. This is the perfect app to get your prepared for your medical school interviews, etc. and get in-depth articles from all the top magazines. Check it out and see what’s going on with the Anesthesia world specifically what the Veterans Affairs hospitals are trying to do.


Specialty in mind: Pediatrics

Background: Currently in a postbac program


Specialty in mind: Pediatric emergency medicine or Neonatology

Reason: Love of kids and the fast pace, spontaneity, and being there in critical times for the patients


Specialty in mind: Dermatology

Reason: Since the skin is the outer layer, you can transform someone’s life with your knowledge.


Specialty in mind: Cardiology, Neurology, or Internal Medicine

Why he wants to be a doctor: Helping people and serving the community


Specialty in mind: DO, family practice


Specialty in mind: Surgery, Orthopedics

Background: Worked as a train engineer and now working in Human Resources at the United Nations; started applying to postbac programs


Specialty in mind: Emergency medicine

Background: Working as a paramedic in the EMT level and wanting to learn more and more with medicine as the next step


Specialty in mind: Emergency medicine, Pediatrics, Primary care


Specialty in mind: MD or DO PhD programs specifically, degenerative medicine

Background: Current postbac student at UC Berkeley

Kevin thinks we won’t live forever but we can continue to extend not only lifespan but “health” spans


Specialty in mind: Plastic or reconstructive surgery. Orthopedics, Neurosurgery

Reason: To help burn victims and her desire to help people


Specialty in mind: Gastroenterology, Endocrinology

Why she wants to be a doctor: To make personal connections with people and help them live a better life


Specialty in mind: Forensic pathology

Background: Joined the marine corps at 17

Some pieces of advice for premed students:

  1. Keep an open mind.
  2. You don’t need to know what specialty you want when going to medical school. You will figure it out along the way, reason for all these clinical rotations in medical school.
  3. Check out the premed conferences in your area or budget so you can travel to a premed conference to be around like-minded students and witness the collaboration among students.

Come celebrate with us!

In celebration of this podcast’s 4th anniversary (which will be Episode 208), Ryan is giving away a 4-pack mock interview prep and a single session of personal statement editing, and some of his mock interview courses. To get a chance to win, simple follow these quick steps:

Contest Mechanics:

  1. Leave this podcast a review on iTunes.
  2. Take a screenshot of the review. (If you’ve already left one, just take a screenshot of the review you’ve already left.)
  3. Post on your Facebook page the best way of getting this podcast out to more people or go to www.medicalschoolhq.net/contest and have a snippet of what you need to write.
  4. Take a screenshot of your Facebook post and tag MSHQ too if possible.
  5. Fill up a form at www.medicalschoolhq.net/contest and upload your two screenshots.
  6. Deadline will be on November 14, 2016 at 12 midnight (technically the 15th).

Links and Other Resources:

Check out the AMSA Convention – February 2017 and use the code: MSHQ17 to save some money on this big event happening in DC.

UC Davis Pre-Health Conference

Texture app




Dr. Ryan Gray: The Premed Years, session number 206.

Hello and welcome to the two-time Academy Award nominated podcast, The Premed Years, where we believe that collaboration, not competition, is key to your premed success. I am your host Dr. Ryan Gray, and in this podcast we share with you stories, encouragement, and information that you need to know to help guide you on your path to becoming a physician.

Welcome to The Premed Years if this is your first time joining us, welcome back if this is not. Today is a different type of episode I recorded live in person at two different conferences in back to back weekends. The first one was AMSA, the American Medical Student Association, their Premed Fest that happened at USF, the University of South Florida at the beginning of October. And the following weekend at UC Davis in California on October 8th. Both conferences were amazing, the AMSA conference I quite enjoyed, I actually got to speak there, I had a session talking about the medical school interview. It was a little bit more- or a lot more intimate and much smaller crowd, but the crowd was very specific mostly to premed students, and so everybody that I talked to were premed for the most part, and were awesome. The UC Davis conference was huge, had 3,000 students there, had a ton of exhibitors there, lots of sessions going on. I got to contribute a little bit at that conference when I helped with the mock interviews. I was one of the mock interviewers for the MMI scenarios that they had going, so that was fun. But the best part was I brought my podcasting equipment, and I sat down, and I asked people, ‘What do you want to do as a physician? Like what specialty do you want to pursue?’ And so we talked about that. And I’m interested in this topic now more than ever because in about six weeks or so, we will be launching- I will launching a new podcast, a completely new podcast. So right now if you go to www.MedEdMedia.com, you can see that we have three different podcasts, and my book out there. So this podcast obviously is there, The Premed Years, I have the Old Premeds Podcast which is a podcast dedicated to nontraditional premed and medical students, and we have the newer MCAT Podcast which you can also find like I said at Med Ed Media. And so those three podcasts have been out kicking, but now I’m going to start the Specialty Stories, and Specialty Stories is going to be a podcast dedicated to helping you, the premed, but also more the medical student figure out what he or she wants to do with his or her life. Picking a specialty is hard, and just because you had one personal or family experience with one specialty, or maybe you suffer from some sort of illness that gives you an increased exposure to a field, that doesn’t necessarily mean that that’s the specialty for you. And so with Specialty Stories I’ll be talking to specialists, every specialist out there. Clinical, even non-clinical- I’ll find some non-clinical specialties out there, and what physicians are doing in the non-clinical role to give you an idea of what the future may hold, and give you an idea of what you should be looking at doing now to maybe set you up for success in the future if you’re interested in maybe one of the more competitive specialties. So that is coming, and if you want some information, in the next couple days I will have an intro episode in iTunes, or Stitcher, or Google Play Music, wherever you subscribe to this podcast- hopefully you’re subscribed, if you’re not, you should subscribe so you get these every week. Don’t just go to the www.MedicalSchoolHQ.net website and listen right on the page there. Subscribe so you can get it right on your phone and you can listen anytime. But anyway, I will have the Specialty Stories listed there so that you can subscribe, and when that official first episode comes out you can get it right on your device. And one other quick thing, don’t forget to listen until the end when I talk to you about how you can win some one-on-one coaching with me.

Without further ado, let’s talk about the AMSA Premed Fest, a great conference for premed students. It was- I think this is their third time having it- third or fourth year having it. It happened that the ‘previous year’ actually happened earlier this year in January, and then they had another one here in October as they try to figure out the best time to have it for students, and it was a great conference. A lot of great people, it was well run, the USF was a great host site, and the people were just awesome and I had tons of great conversations. And so this first one here is a conversation with David, and we talk about why he’s interested in what he’s going into, and we also talk about the conference as a whole.

Conference Interviews

David: My name is David Connect.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Hi David. What are you interested in doing?

David: I am going to be a physician hopefully.

Dr. Ryan Gray: A doctor? That’s a good start. What kind of doctor? Do you have an idea yet?

David: I’m thinking probably DO. I have a pretty nontraditional story, so I’ve heard that a lot of people who don’t go the traditional route go DO.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Yeah, why?

David: Why do they go DO?

Dr. Ryan Gray: Yeah.

David: I don’t know I’ve heard it’s because of the grades, but also it kind of appeals to my holistic idea as a nontraditional.

Dr. Ryan Gray: So you’re a nontraditional, what do you do now?

David: I work at a spine center, so I’m a surgical technician- or a surgical technologist.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Okay.

David: So I do kind of like PA work, assist the doctors with spinal surgery, that sort of thing. Before that I was an EMT-

Dr. Ryan Gray: You’re kind of a doctor already.

David: Oh far from it, far from it. It’s one thing to know technical skills but it’s another to have it up here.

Dr. Ryan Gray: That’s awesome. So through that experience you’re like, ‘I want to be on the other side of the table.’

David: Definitely. I first started really wanting to go the physician route when I was an EMT. We would bring in patients just to the door and I always wanted to know what’s on the other end of that door? What happens after we bring them in? You know? You can establish a basic rapport in fifteen minutes in an ambulance drive but then you never see your patient again, and I thought I’d like to see them again, I’d like to follow up, see what happened.

Dr. Ryan Gray: And we’re at AMSA Premed Fest, would you recommend premed students come to a Premed Fest or an AMSA event?

David: Oh definitely.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Yeah? What’s been the best thing?

David: I think- I’m sorry?

Dr. Ryan Gray: What’s been the best thing?

David: Oh so far? There was a talk on physician assistant suicide, and it was very engaging. I think one of the best things about coming to an event like this is you stumble on things that you hadn’t previously thought of, or you knew it’s a topic that’s out there, but you just don’t know what you believe about it. You don’t know what you think about it. So coming to one of these things is really good for me because it helps me shape my view on a lot of those things.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Awesome. Well thank you, good luck.

David: Yeah, well thank you.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Alright so that was David. Again, he talked about why he’s interested in going into surgery having worked as a surgical tech. What I didn’t dive into was did he go into working as a surgical tech because he was interested in becoming a physician, or if that was just a job that he had found, and could do, and was a decent career for him, and then he got the bug to jump to the other side of the table as we said. So that was David. So interesting discussion there, he talked about obviously why you should go to an AMSA event if you haven’t already. AMSA has their big convention coming up. If you’re interested in going you can save some money, so go check out AMSA and use the code MSHQ17 and save some money on the conference there- the big convention in February in D.C.

Alright so this next one we’ll jump to the UC Davis conference and I talked to Nina, and it’s interesting to hear how she switched from wanting to do something more primary care to something more procedure-based.

Nina: My name is Nina Wynn, and I’m from Daly City, California which is near San Francisco.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Awesome. And you are here at the UC Davis Prehealth Conference. Are you having a good day?

Nina: Yeah, it’s great here.

Dr. Ryan Gray: What is the best thing about coming to a conference like this?

Nina: This is my third time at this conference, and I guess as a veteran I would say that really taking advantage of whatever you see, even if it’s not something that you knew existed before. For example I didn’t know [Inaudible 00:09:50] technology existed and today we have an interactive workshop on that, where you get to look at cells under a microscope and see if they’re cancerous or not. Where do you get to do that?

Dr. Ryan Gray: At the UC Davis Prehealth Conference.

Nina: Exactly.

Dr. Ryan Gray: That’s awesome. So you want to be a physician, you’re applying now.

Nina: Yeah.

Dr. Ryan Gray: What do you want to do? Do you have a particular specialty in mind?

Nina: At first I was drawn to primary care, but then I realized that surgery was a completely new and very invigorating field.

Dr. Ryan Gray: So you want to cut people?

Nina: I want to cut people.

Dr. Ryan Gray: That’s what I want to do too- that’s what I wanted to do.

Nina: I took anatomy and I took anatomy lab too, so I was able to see cadavers, and really for the first time see what it’s like to actually cut into flesh.

Dr. Ryan Gray: That’s awesome.

Nina: And it was amazing, yeah.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Well good luck to you.

Nina: Thank you, thank you for having me.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Alright so what you see there is even Nina as a premed student is reconsidering what she thought she wanted to do. So as you go into your medical school career, and even premed career, keep an open mind because you might be exposed to something that is very beneficial and just lights a fire under you. So keep an eye out on what may be coming.

Alright this next one we talked to Rico at the AMSA conference.

Rico: My name is Rico Carter, I want to be an anesthesiologist. It’s just something that I’ve always dreamed of and is just- it really interests me to see the practice of anesthesiologists.

Dr. Ryan Gray: What’s your ultimate goal? Become an anesthesiologist and do what?

Rico: And to help the community out, and give back to the community, and just be like a good leader and set an example for the community.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Alright so Rico wants to give back to the community as an anesthesiologist. Anesthesia is an awesome career. There’s a lot of controversy in the anesthesia field because of CRNAs, so if you’re interested in anesthesia do some research on CRNAs. Check out the Texture app, if you go to www.MedicalSchoolHQ.net/texture, sign up for a free one week trial account there, and Texture is like a Netflix for magazines. And not just like US Weekly, or the gossip magazines, but the good magazines. And so you can type in ‘CRNAs’ or ‘anesthesiology’ or ‘euthanasia’ or ‘abortion.’ This is the perfect app to get your prepared for your medical school interviews, it’s a perfect app to give you some insight into what’s going on in the world. It’s not just a 500-word blog post, it’s a nice in depth article from all the top magazines. So check out Texture and see what’s going on with the anesthesia world, specifically what the Veterans Affairs hospitals are trying to do. It’s very interesting what’s going on there.

Alright so back to the UC Davis conference, we’ll be ping-ponging back and forth. And I do want to mention that there were I think one or two AMSA interviews that I wasn’t able to save. I’m sure you can hear a difference between the AMSA interviews and the UC Davis interviews, there was something funky going on. So if you’re listening to this thinking that we had a conversation but it’s not in here, I apologize, it’s because there was something wrong with it. But this next one from UC Davis was Kimberly, and she’s a postbac student interested in pediatrics.

Kimberly: My name is Kimberly and I am from Brooklyn, New York.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Did you fly in just for this?

Kimberly: No, I actually attend Cal State East Bay postbac program in Hayward.

Dr. Ryan Gray: So you’re in a postbac program, you want to be a physician. What do you want to do?

Kimberly: Medicine for me, personally I feel like it’s a calling. So ever since I was a little girl- and I know that sounds cliché, I was interested in medicine and I feel like that passion grew as I went on through college. For me, I had a rough time initially getting used to the sciences because I was not used to seeing that type of material and it caused me to- and I was taking a heavy load, so it caused me to kind of not do so well in college, so that’s why I ended up in a postbac program. And I’ve always been interested in pediatrics. I had a great pediatrician and I always wanted to be just like him, and over the summer recently I did an internship where we got to do rotations in the ER department with the ER docs. And at first I was like, ‘Maybe I might be interested in ER medicine,’ but then what made me really decide on doing pediatrics is the fact that I noticed with ER doctors, they don’t get the chance to really know the patient so it’s kind of like you’re just coming in, they’re diagnosing you, and you’re like out. Whereas with pediatrics you can know if the patient is like- they genuinely have a problem because you like get to grow with them. And- yeah.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Okay, that’s awesome. Thank you, good luck.

Kimberly: Thank you.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Alright that was Kimberly. So one thing I learned about myself is that I say ‘awesome’ a lot. So if you get tired of hearing me say awesome, I apologize, but it’s pretty awesome. All these stories that I heard, they really were awesome. Anyway this next one is from Abby and she’s the start of my audio troubles at the AMSA conference, but I was able to salvage some of it, and I’ll tell you the rest of it after we hear from her.

Abby: My name is Abby Parrigan.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Hi Abby.

Abby: Hi.

Dr. Ryan Gray: So you’re a student here at USC?

Abby: Yes.

Dr. Ryan Gray: And you’re part of the Premed AMSA Club?

Abby: Yeah I am.

Dr. Ryan Gray: That’s awesome. Should every student be part of Premed AMSA?

Abby: I think so, I think it’s a really awesome organization on campus. We do a lot- we provide a lot of resources for people at USF. Like I’m part of Community Outreach, so we provide weekly volunteer events for students, we do research workshops, physician shadowing, lots of different stuff to really like help your application.

Dr. Ryan Gray: That’s great.

Abby: Yeah.

Dr. Ryan Gray: What are you interested in doing?

Abby: I am interested in either going into emergency medicine or neonatology.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Why those two? Those are very different things.

Abby: Yeah so I love working with kids, so if I do emergency medicine I want to do pediatric emergency medicine. And I just love the fast pace.

Dr. Ryan Gray: So Abby went on to continue to say that she loves the fast pace of emergency medicine, she loves the spontaneity of it, and she loves out of both of them being there in critical times for the patients. So if you are somebody that feeds off of that energy of that criticalness and the urgency of emergency medicine, and neonatology really is kind of like constant emergency medicine for these little babies, then those are some good specialties. So while initially I thought they were very different, her explanation made me realize that they’re a lot more alike as in what she’s looking for. So that’s why I’m so excited about this specialty series- or the Specialty Stories Podcast (I don’t even know the name of it yet)- the Specialty Stories Podcast because we’ll be able to hear from neonatologists and emergency medicine physicians on what types of personalities should go into the field, and what you should be looking at as a premed and a medical student as you move forward.

So let’s move on to- back to a UC Davis interview with Adrienne.

Adrienne: My name is Adrienne Carter, and I’m from Oakland, California.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Awesome, and you want to be a doctor?

Adrienne: I want to be a doctor.

Dr. Ryan Gray: What do you want to do?

Adrienne: I’ve been switching around on what kind of doctor, but right now I’m really interested in dermatology. It seems like there’s- it’s a specialty where there’s just so much to know, and since the skin is like the outer layer, you can really transform someone’s life with your knowledge. So it seems really interesting, so I’m excited to learn more about it.

Dr. Ryan Gray: How far away are you from applying to school?

Adrienne: I’m planning on applying next year, yeah.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Good luck to you.

Adrienne: Thank you very much.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Alright so it was an interesting one. The skin obviously is your outward face to the rest of the world, and so if you have a dermatological issue that affects how you present yourself, then I like her reasoning. That you can have an immediate kind of effect on patients. So it’s interesting to hear the thought processes behind the specialties that students are thinking about going into.

Alright let’s jump into one here from Gabriel.

What’s your name?

Gabriel: Gabriel.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Gabriel, what do you want to do?

Gabriel: I want to be a physician but I still don’t know my specialty yet.

Dr. Ryan Gray: You want to be a physician but you don’t know your specialty yet.

Gabriel: Yeah. I’m like- it’s between either cardio, or neuro, or internal medicine. Between those three.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Nice, a lot of different things.

Gabriel: Yeah.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Why do you want to be a doctor?

Gabriel: I really like helping people out, I like serving the community. I mean it’s been my dream since I was a little kid to be a doctor. Like I would watch all these TV shows about doctors, and I loved it, I just loved it.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Awesome, well good luck to you.

Gabriel: Thank you.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Alright so again, another student there that’s interested in helping the community. And so it’s interesting for those of you don’t know, so he mentioned cardio- so cardiology, a lot of people will abbreviate that ‘cards’ instead of cardio, so it’s cards. You have internal medicine he mentioned, and I forget- neuro he mentioned as the last one. So some good ones based on- so cardiology you typically do an internal medicine residency first and then cardiology fellowship. Neurology is typically its own residency and sometimes you do an internal medicine internship first. So a lot of what he’s interested in are based off of internal medicine, so that’s good.

Alright next we have Nikki at the UC Davis conference talking about osteopathic medicine and why she’s interested in that.

Nikki: My name is Nikki Clifton, I’m from Reno, Nevada, I was previously a UC Davis student.

Dr. Ryan Gray: What do you want to do with your life?

Nikki: So I want to go to medical school. I’ve been very open to DO since looking more into the whole medical school process. MD is also a choice. I also am looking at family practice. The more and more I hear about the residencies and the competitiveness, I don’t want to beat out anyone trying to cut people open. I really just want to talk to people and help them one-on-one.

Dr. Ryan Gray: It sounds like you’re scared of somebody that’s going to cut people open.

Nikki: I like watching it but I don’t know if I would like to be the one to do it.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Yeah so family practice, thinking DO, that fits perfectly with family practice.

Nikki: It works for me. I would go MD, but everything about DO fits my thinking completely. I think I’m a good candidate.

Dr. Ryan Gray: And I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, there’s no difference once you’re in practice between DO and MD, so it all works.

Nikki: I currently work under an MD and a DO in the same practice at a pain clinic.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Awesome, well good luck to you.

Nikki: Thank you so much.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Alright so some interesting thinking there on what she’s looking at as far as competitiveness among applicants to different residencies. So good thought process there.

Alright this next one, back from the AMSA conference we have Daniel.

Daniel: My name is Daniel.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Hi Daniel, what do you want to do?

Daniel: I- at this moment I want to be a surgeon, probably in orthopedics, but it’s a little early to be definite about that because I’m in the process of changing careers, and I’m still exploring. I still need to do some shadowing and see it for myself to make a more informed decision.

Dr. Ryan Gray: So you’re a nontraditional applicant?

Daniel: I am nontraditional indeed.

Dr. Ryan Gray: What do you do now?

Daniel: I work in- well I was a train engineer, and then I changed- I guess I changed careers once already, I work in human resources now. I work at United Nations.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Awesome.

Daniel: Yeah and trying to navigate my way through of medical school and premed, and I would say your podcast has been extremely helpful.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Alright.

Daniel: I’m a regular listener.

Dr. Ryan Gray: How far away from applying are you?

Daniel: I’ve started applying to postbacs right now and I’ve submitted- I’ve started an application for one school, I’m going to start another one when that one opens, and I’ve started researching a few more appropriate ones for me to apply.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Alright, well good luck to you.

Daniel: Thank you so much.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Alright so that was Daniel, interesting story working at the United Nations which is pretty awesome, that’s a great line item on the application when he fills in his extracurriculars, that’s pretty great.

So this next one back from the UC Davis conference is an interesting one, talking to Anthony who was an EMT, and got the bug to go a little bit further with his EMT training, to become a paramedic, and where that has left him.

Anthony: My name’s Anthony and I’m from Los Angeles.

Dr. Ryan Gray: And what do you want to do as a physician?

Anthony: So I’d like to go into emergency medicine. I’ve been working as a paramedic for the last few years, and just being around that environment got me interested in learning more, like being able to do more, so I started looking into going back to school and getting all my pre-req’s in order, and hopefully get into emergency medicine.

Dr. Ryan Gray: So you didn’t- you weren’t a paramedic because you wanted to go to medical school, you were a paramedic before and you said, ‘Oh I want to dig deeper and know more.’

Anthony: Exactly. For a paramedic there’s an EMT level and then paramedic, and I took the EMT class originally just kind of for personal interest, and started working in that and realized that this stuff is really interesting. So I was like, ‘I really want to learn more about this,’ so I went to paramedic school, then I think it’s happening again like, ‘I want to learn more.’ So just the whole medicine and biology and science really interests me.

Dr. Ryan Gray: That’s awesome. Well good luck to you on your journey.

Anthony: Thank you.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Alright so it’s an interesting one, a student who was doing something totally different, and got the bug to learn more and more and more, and said, ‘Hey you know what? The next step is medical school.’ It’s kind of scary. Alright this next one back from the AMSA conference, we talked to Andrew.

Andrew: My name’s Andrew.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Andrew, what do you want to do?

Andrew: What do I want to do? That’s a very large question. I want to do the best I can to have a happy life and ensure that those around me have a happy life.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Yeah.

Andrew: And I think health is the biggest part- health and happiness are- they coincide, one comes with the other.

Dr. Ryan Gray: That’s awesome. Do you know what kind of physician you want to be?

Andrew: No.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Not yet?

Andrew: For a short answer, no but I have interest in emergency medicine and pediatrics, things like that. Also primary care, but it just depends on what I experience in medical school and what really grabs my heart.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Awesome, well good luck to you.

Andrew: Alright thanks man.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Alright so one thing I want to make clear here is as a premed student, you really- you don’t need to know what you want to be when you grow up. If you want to be a physician, great. If you change your mind and don’t want to be one, that’s okay too, remember that. But specialty wise you don’t need to know, and a lot of people don’t know going into medical school, and they figure it out on their way. That’s why we have all these clinical rotations in medical school, is so you can figure it out. This next one from the UC Davis conference, Kevin has some huge aspirations.

Kevin: My name is Kevin Gandinko, and I’m from Texas, Houston in particular. I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Alright and you’re a postbac student now?

Kevin: Yes I am, I’m a current postbac student at University of California Berkeley Extension, I’m currently in their health profession postbac program.

Dr. Ryan Gray: And what do you want to do with your life?

Kevin: So currently I’m looking into either MD or DO PhD programs, specifically dealing with regenerative medicine and orthopedic surgery is what I would want to go into.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Do you think we’ll live forever one day?

Kevin: That’s a tough question, and I spent a year at the Buck Institute for Aging Research, they’re a nonprofit in the North Bay here in California. And the research I did there was geared towards lifespan extensions, and I don’t think that we will live forever per say, but I definitely think that we can continue to extend not only lifespans but health spans, and by that I mean just the overall wellbeing of a human in particular over the course of their life.

Dr. Ryan Gray: That’s awesome. Huge aspirations, good luck to you on your journey.

Kevin: Thank you Ryan, appreciate it.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Alright so that’s some awesome things, again my favorite word of the night, ‘awesome’ what Kevin’s doing. So good luck to you Kevin, if you’re listening to this. This next one back at the AMSA conference has a very difficult name to pronounce so I’m going to let her say her name.

AMSA Attendee: My name’s [Inaudible 00:27:18].

Dr. Ryan Gray: That’s an awesome name.

AMSA Attendee: Thank you.

Dr. Ryan Gray: And you pronounce it awesomer, if that’s a word.

AMSA Attendee: For lack of better terms.

Dr. Ryan Gray: What are you interested in doing?

AMSA Attendee: I’m interested in doing maybe plastic or reconstructive surgery, and then maybe if- I’m like leaning towards that or orthopedics, or maybe neurosurgery.

Dr. Ryan Gray: That’s awesome, and why plastics at this point?

AMSA Attendee: Plastics? Well I’m more focused on the reconstructive, more because I want to help someone who- burn victim or something, or some child who’s like gotten in a horrible car crash and something along those lines. Plastic I mean is just-

Dr. Ryan Gray: Is that through personal experience?

AMSA Attendee: Actually no, it’s not. I have no personal experience with medicine, I just always wanted to- since I was little I’ve always wanted to be a doctor. I don’t know where it came from, I just always played doctor, my parents always bought me the little play doctor kits and stuff. I always- my Barbie was always the doctor, like I don’t know where it came from, I always wanted to help people.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Awesome, well good luck to you.

AMSA Attendee: Thank you.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Alright, these next couple are from the UC Davis, that was it for the AMSA conference. Again, amazing conference, you should definitely check out everything that AMSA is doing, go check out their conferences and use the promo code MSHQ17 to save some money when you register to go to those events.

Alright now we have this one, again another name that was super hard to pronounce but I’ll let her say it.

UC Davis Attendee: My name is [Inaudible 00:28:52] and I’m actually an international student. I’m from Siberia.

Dr. Ryan Gray: And what do you want to do with your life?

UC Davis Attendee: I want to be a doctor, I want to make personal connections with people, and try to help them live a better life.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Yeah? What kind of specialty? Do you know at this point?

UC Davis Attendee: I’m a nutrition major right now so I feel like I want to be in a specialty that’s connected, maybe a gastroenterologist, or an endocrinologist.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Awesome, well good luck to you on your journey.

UC Davis Attendee: Thank you.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Alright and this last one from Jordan, who after serving his country as a Marine, has figured out that he wants to go back and pursue something definitely very interesting, and one of those reasons why I want to start the Specialty Stories Podcast, because what he’s interested in is not one that probably a lot of people think about unless they watch some crazy TV shows.

Jordan: My name is Jordan Peterson, I’m actually- I’m from southern California like Orange County area, it’s where I was born and grew up, and then I lived in Hawaii while I went to high school so I like to say I’m from Hawaii, it sounds a lot cooler.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Very cool. And you’re a nontraditional student?

Jordan: Yes, yeah. Right after high school at seventeen years old I joined the Marine Corps, I had to get my parents’ permission, and I went off to go do great things for five years. And after that my wife got- oh I got married while I was in, and my wife got accepted to veterinary school at Western, and that’s kind of when I decided that I wanted to make a change instead of- I really had no direction and then I was like, ‘Hey maybe I’ll go to college, I don’t know.’

Dr. Ryan Gray: That’s awesome, so now you want to be a doctor?

Jordan: Yeah, it was a bumpy road. I pretty much considered every profession before I considered doctor.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Yeah.

Jordan: But I’m actually- I’m pretty dang set on this one.

Dr. Ryan Gray: What do you want to do, do you know?

Jordan: Yeah, so I actually want to do forensic pathology. It’s a pretty small field. The statistic I like to throw around is there’s about 500 practicing forensic pathologists in the country right now, so Congressman is actually a more popular job.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Well good luck to you on your journey.

Jordan: Thank you very much.

Final Thoughts

Dr. Ryan Gray: Alright that is it for all the conversations that I had. So what I took out of this was that there are so many different reasons for why people are interested in what they’re interested in. And so as you go on your journey, keep your eyes open, keep your ears open, and listen to the Specialty Stories Podcast as it comes out to hear more stories from physicians on the other side of their training, to hear them talk about what life is like as a forensic pathologist, or an orthopedic surgeon, and hear their stories behind why they chose their career, and if they would recommend their career to those that are following in their footsteps. So again, go check that out, www.SpecialtyStories.com. At this point it will either take you to the iTunes page where you can subscribe to the podcast, or it will take you somewhere else where you can get some more information.

So I do want to mention- I mentioned at the beginning of the podcast that you have the opportunity to win some one-on-one coaching with me. And if you didn’t know, I help students prepare for their applications, for their interviews, I help them with their personal statements. It’s something I’ve been doing now since I’ve been doing this full time, and if you haven’t heard my story you can go back and listen to some of the old podcasts on why I’m not practicing medicine anymore. But what I have been doing now is I’ve been helping students prepare for their applications, and interviews, and everything like I just said. And so in two weeks, session 208 will be my fourth anniversary of this podcast. It’ll be four years of publishing this episode- or this podcast every week for 208 weeks, and I want to celebrate that by giving you some prizes. And to do that go to www.MedicalSchoolHQ.net/contest and you can figure out and learn how to join, or register, or enter I guess- enter to win either some mock interview prep with me, or personal statement writing, editing with me, or some application prep. I’m giving away some of the stuff that- some of the students that work with me have been working with me for a long time, and it’s a big investment, but I’m giving that away for free for those that enter to win. So again, www.MedicalSchoolHQ.net/contest.

I want to take a second and thank a couple people that have left us ratings and reviews. We have Negretesteph12, maybe that’s how you say that, that she says- maybe she, she says, ‘Great, this podcast is great. As a premed out of college it is great to get a refresher of what to do to help the medical school preparation process go smoothly.’ So this user Negretesteph12 uses the word ‘great’ as much as I use the word ‘awesome.’ So that is awesome and great all in one. Thank you for that review.

And we have another one that says, ‘Makes medical school achievable,’ by linam97. ‘I’ve been a long time listener of the podcast. Once I started listening I realized that I could get into medical school and it wasn’t some fantasy. I follow the advice and hope to get into medical school soon.’ I hope so too. Let me know when you do, and thank you for that review.

If you would like to leave a review go to www.MedicalSchoolHQ.net/iTunes.

Alright that is it for now. Again I highly recommend you check out the premed conferences in your area, or budget so you can travel to a premed conference. The community at a conference, the atmosphere, the vibe, the energy is amazing, and being around like-minded students is awesome. After the AMSA Premed Fest conference I went to dinner with six maybe other- six students that listen to the podcast, and some that hadn’t heard the podcast, and one of the students actually listened to the podcast but didn’t know I was the actual host on the podcast, and when she found out she was kind of- she was like, “Oh my God, that’s you.” Anyway it was kind of funny. But listening to especially those students at dinner, and those that went out to dinner, thank you very much, the conversations that go on, and the collaboration- I talk about it here all the time, collaboration not competition. The amount of collaboration that goes on at these conferences is phenomenal. So find out- go to AMSA and find out where the nearest conference is to you, go check out their convention in February. Their convention is a little bit more skewed towards medical students, but they do have a large percentage of premeds that go as well. So again if you do go to an AMSA conference, MSHQ17 to save some money on your registration.

Alright I hope you got some inspiration out of this podcast today. Not much to learn other than to know that people have different reasons for what they’re doing, and so if you have your own reasons, that’s okay. If they’re different from everybody else’s, that’s okay. Just keep pursuing them and know why you’re doing this. And check us out next week here at the Medical School Headquarters and The Premed Years Podcast.